What does ‘Share the Road’ mean?

Ask a typical motorist about ‘Sharing the Road’ and more likely than not, they will say something like this:

Of course cyclists can share the road with cars. The cyclist is supposed to stay way over there as close as possible to the edge, the car takes the rest of the lane and there we are — sharing. As long as there is enough room to squeeze by, what’s the problem?

And if there isn’t enough room to squeeze by, then it is because the cyclist isn’t over far enough. If the cyclist would just stay over there, then we can share the road just fine together. But don’t make me change lanes to get around the cyclist. All that does is make me angry because while I am happy to share with the cyclists, when they stray off of the edge line, they are no longer sharing, they are taking. They are taking something that doesn’t belong to them because roads are for cars and trucks.

Zillions of dollars spent on the “Share the Road” campaign and this what they learned from it. I have asked motorists that don’t cycle, so I know.

Obviously there needs to be something added because while it seems everyone has heard the phrase, they don’t know what it means.

3 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    Not an original thought. Not surprising since I have so few of those . . . But, unlike the traffic engineers who did the “study” that said they were wonderful, I didn’t ask cyclists what they thought about the signs, but drivers who don’t cycle.

    So I think that Wayne’s criticism is warranted.

  2. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    Of course, cyclists don’t pay road taxes so they don’t belong there. After all, they don’t use gasoline and “everybody knows” that the fuel taxes go right back into the road. Try to explain to someone who tells you that line of oscar meyer bologna that road funding is done from other sources besides fuel taxes.

    Eric, you’ll find people on bikes who don’t have the proper understanding of vehicular cycling as often as you’ll find motorists who lack the same information and education.

    Share the road was never covered in my Driver’s Ed class thirty five years ago (yikes) and I doubt that it’s part of any motorist’s training today, although it should be.


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